City looks to control feral cat issues


    Director of Moberly Parks and Recreation Troy Bock said Wednesday the city is working to control the issue of feral cats. The issue is most prevalent at Rothwell Park. (Lexie Petrovic/KRCG13).

    Director of Moberly Parks and Recreation Troy Bock said Wednesday the city is working to control the issue of feral cats.

    The issue began 5-10 years ago, but the treatment of the program was approved two years ago. However, the treatment officially began in February.

    Bock said the problem is most prevalent in Rothwell Park, where the population of cats has been growing. He said it is also concerning to think about the diseases the cats have that could potentially be passed on to the public.

    "Our whole goal is merely to humanely to provide treatments to this population and to limit long-term population growth," he said.

    To tackle the issue, the city of Moberly partnered with Green Hills Veterinary Clinic to address the problem. The clinic then set up traps to capture the cats, and would then take them in to spay and neuter them. They also pay attention to any diseases that could have been developed or passed along to the animals.

    Dr. Cliff Miller of Green Hills Veterinary Clinic said there are ways for the public to identify if the cats have been spayed and neutered.

    "We did a catch and release so we would catch the feral cats, spay and neuter and identify them and we would do that with a little ear notch so that people would know if they had been spayed or neutered," he said.

    An ear-notch means the tip of the ear of the animal is cut off to indicate they have been properly spayed or neutered to people who see the animals in the distance.

    Dr. Miller said a large problem to the growing population is people leaving unwanted pets at the park.

    "I think the big thing is to avoid people bringing more cats into the population," he said. "If for some reason people see that as a way to release a cat that's unwanted or something like that then we will never win that battle."

    While recent cold weather has caused many of the cats to make less of an appearance, Bock said the overall goal is to see a decrease in the feral cat population over time. He said this is the safest and most effective way to handle the dilemma.

    "Our whole goal is merely to humanely to provide treatments to this population and to limit long-term population growth," he said.

    Dr. Miller warned the public to avoid making contact with the cats if possible.

    "Don't corner them," he said. "They are- I would consider them wild animals."

    Bock said people should avoid touching or tampering with the traps in the park placed there by the vet clinic. He said people should also not only avoid feeding the cats, but all animals in general.




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